A company that develops an artificial intelligence-based facial recognition tool,which sells to police and other government institutions,has collected over three billion images from the Internet,The New York Times reports.
The respective images were collected from Facebook and other social networks,websites,but also from the "About us" pages of some companies.
Clearview AI,a small startup,received initial funding from Peter Thiel,a board member of Facebook and a controversial character in Silicon Valley.He has also invested in controversial projects,such as Palantir,a mysterious Big Data company that collects and analyzes information for government institutions,including the CIA.
The founder of Clearview AI told the New York Times that Facebook "knows" about collecting images from its platform,though facial recognition technology is banned in San Francisco.
By comparison,other social networks,such as Twitter,do not allow robots to retrieve content published on their platforms.Clearview AI is,however,based on the fact that the practice is not restricted at the federal level in the US.
"This is a disturbing demonstration of the dangerous reality that is represented by facial recognition technology today and shows the urgent need for elected officials to immediately prevent the use of technology by law enforcement," said Nathan Freed Wessler,a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU),according to Mediafax.He added that the police should not be able to investigate anyone using error-prone and unregulated technology.
Clearview claims it uses only images that were public at the time they were collected.Facebook has announced it will investigate the service and how it uses the data on its platform.
The New York Times journalist used the tool and managed to collect images,in which she appears,from the last 10 years.
So far,the technology is only used by law enforcement,but Clearview wants to sell it to manufacturers of augmented reality glasses or other wearable devices.This means that a person wearing such a device will be able to get real-time information about the people they meet.
Tags: facebook artificial intelligence face recognition clearview ai